Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Tuesday, April 27
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Colorado will, as expected, get an eighth congressional seat that will be up for election in 2022 after population increases over the last decade, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday.
The apportionment population, which also includes federal employees and their dependents living overseas who list Colorado as their home state, was 5,782,171 – up from 5,044,930 in 2010 – for an apportionment population growth of 14.6%.
The overall population data was supposed to be released by the end of 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID pandemic and lawsuits filed by the Trump Administration over including undocumented immigrants in the population count.
Colorado is one of six states that will add congressional districts for the 2022 election whose representatives will take office in 2023. In the West, Colorado, Montana and Oregon will all add one seat. Florida and North Carolina will also add a single seat, while Texas will gain two seats.
We have an active day across southern Colorado with high fire danger, strong winds, and even the chance for spotty showers in the afternoon.
The biggest opportunity for rain and thunderstorms will happen north of the Palmer Divide in and around the Denver area. We could see strong to severe thunderstorms mostly east of I-25 and north of the Palmer Divide this afternoon.
Rain will turn to snow overnight and snow showers will push down into the Pikes Peak region by Wednesday morning.
As we work to rebound from the effects of the pandemic, the Colorado Ballet Society is back in action, helping bring the arts back to Colorado Springs and performing in front of live audiences.
It was a tough year for many of the ballerinas, but like so many of us, they learned a lot of lessons along the way. “It was just definitely difficult, not being around the people I love most. Because I’m used to being with them for 6 hours a day sometimes every single day,” senior Gabi Vidano said.
We were recently invited by the Colorado Ballet Society (CBS) to see several ballerinas practice their choreography at the new Movement Gallery in Downtown Colorado Springs.
The dancers went all virtual for a time during the pandemic, which proved difficult, but the ladies adapted and even found some silver linings.
“I was able to take other classes and master classes, and meet other people that I maybe wouldn’t have connected with as much as if I were in person,” senior Alea Brown said.
"I think having quarantine and time to dance alone has definitely reminded me how important it is to dance together and how wonderful that is. But it has also provided a lot of opportunities to really focus on technical aspects and also experiment with who I am as an artist and just to get to learn more of myself as I'm dancing alone,” senior Isabel Harris said.
Eventually, the dancers were able to get back to practicing in person again in small groups, which made a big difference because proper technique is essential to this art form.
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Some college students are going to need more than just their laptops for class this fall. Dozens of colleges and universities around the country will require their students to be vaccinated in order to access campus for the fall semester.
Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Fort Lewis College in Durango, and the University of Denver, are the three schools in Colorado that are planning to require all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
UCCS is encouraging its students to receive the vaccine, but there's no talk about a mandate right now.
Colleges are allowed to mandate the vaccine, according to attorney Stephen Longo as long as it does not conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
While reflecting on pandemic milestones of last year, one local couple has a reason to be grateful for some of the year's tough circumstances because the two met by chance in 2020.
In April of last year, Even Rogers drove to Sedona, Arizona, to help his mother who lives there. His stepfather at the time was battling cancer. Rogers has been in the Air Force for over eight years, and resides in Colorado Springs. "When two people meet, or a set of events happen, there's a million different things that have to happen for that event to be true... I didn't have access to an airplane at the time, and so, that's the only reason I took my mountain bike with me," said Rogers.
At the same time, Sydney Linden was living in Sedona and working as a massage therapist. However, the pandemic put her career on pause. Linden said she would later learn that break gave her the time she needed to change her career course. But in April 2020, she spent many days outside running in her free time. "I was running on a hiking trail in Sedona, Arizona, when I fell and broke my leg," said Linden.
That was April 17, 2020, when Rogers was mountain biking on the same trail. By the time he saw Linden, he was exhausted. "I'm ready for the ride to be over. Totally out of water. But I'm 0.6 miles from the trailhead, so it's not that big of a deal, right? Turns out not to be true," said Rogers while laughing.
Linden fractured her tibial plateau in her right leg, and was waiting on a friend to come get her from the trail. However, her friend seemed to have gotten lost, so Linden stopped Rogers to confirm they were on the correct trail. Rogers realized she was injured and abandoned his bicycle, carrying Linden down the trail. "I immediately felt safe... I was in a lot of pain, but I was actually not even thinking about the pain. It felt like it was supposed to happen that way," said Linden.
When the two reached the parking lot, Linden had started crying because of the injury, and Rogers didn't feel it was appropriate to ask for her phone number at the time. "I didn't get his number. He didn't get mine. I just knew his name was Even, that he was in the Air Force, and I assumed he lived in Colorado Springs," said Linden.
While Linden was recovering, she was also trying to find Rogers. However, social media did not reveal many answers. Linden's mother suggested reaching out to the local newspaper, so she did. Linden recalled the article was titled 'Runner looking for trail hero.'